A moody level about a sinister tower, and the mysterious force that exists within. The level was created with environmental narrative in mind. Organic life defends the ancient shrines of the earth temple. Lanky branches reach for the player as they move past. Did the explorers who died here come as saviors, or villains?
I started designing this level out with a premise of duality, life and death. I knew that I wanted a split at the start of the level, one half leading to a barren wasteland, the other to greenery, with the cubic temple as a connecting space. I made the barren region uninviting and threatening to push the player towards the greenery, the tower itself built as an icon of hostility, similar to the Eye of Sauron. However, this tower made the space more enticing than revolting, so I split the spaces with a putrid river and continued from there. As the player travels through, they see signs of the plant-life claiming victims. This creates a distrust of the roots as the player moves through the level. Are the roots acting on their own, or are they being controlled?
Playthrough / Screens
The player sees the signs of an old shrine by their camp site, broken by time and ruin. A tower exists in the center of a barren field. It is unclear if the field has succumbed to its dreariness because of the tower, or on its own. A shrine open to the temple has bodies gripped by roots, apparently individuals who had been attempting to take the shrine’s power or treasures. Impossible structures lead the player to the doors of the temple proper.
This space exudes strength and permanence. Even so, we can see the roots beginning to penetrate through the cracks in the structure. A great effort was made to create this structure, but is it protecting something, or a monument to the power of those who lived here?
Closer to the tower, the roots have clearly taken over this region. Bodies are caught in the vines, and branches reach uncomfortably close to the player as they move through. The roots have started to shift a shrine out of position, and putrid water fills the gaps in between platforms. As the player climbs the stairs and enters the tower, they see the source of the roots, the sentient origin taking over the area reaching out for you.